Wednesday, May 7, 2008

How to use copyright wisely within scholarly communication

Today[May 7 2008], SURF is launching the English version of its website about copyright in higher education, especially for scholarly communcation: www.surf.nl/copyright-in-nl.

If an author transfers all of his rights exclusively to a publisher, this restricts the options for reusing the research results, for either teaching or research purposes. Doing so may also involve additional costs. Being more aware about copyright and using alternative licence models helps to optimise access to the publicly financed results of scientific and scholarly research and to reuse those results.

The website is aimed primarily at scientific and scholarly authors and tries to provide answers to such questions as:
Why do I need to concern myself with copyright matters?
Why is this important for me?
What does the law say?
What do I still need to arrange myself?

The website explains a number of basic rules, gives background information, and provides authors of scientific publications and doctoral theses with practical advice on how to deal with copyright matters. All of this makes copyright easier than many people think.

When an author publishes, he enters into relationships with the institution for which he works, with the publisher, and with other users of the publication. SURF’s new website provides information on the best way to regulate those relationships from the legal point of view for all the parties concerned, but particularly for the author.

Besides information for scientific or scholarly authors, the website also provides practical guidelines and background information for the other parties concerned: universities, publishers, and users.

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